On display inside the marquee and for many the star of the show will be the original memorial plaque which ‘disappeared’ from the original ticket office at Bridge House-St Johns Crossing several years ago. The plaque was rediscovered in July after it made a fleeting appearance on BBC Look North who were reporting on the recent takeover of the William Lane Foundry in Middlesbrough, the last traditional foundry in the old Ironmasters District of the town. Unfortunately after it was removed the plaque was forcibly folded to aid it’s removal and obvious intention of being melted down but this was thwarted by the police who passed it onto William Lane for safe keeping and possible restoration.
The plaque dates to 1925 and celebrates the centenary of the S&DR. It was unveiled by the then Duke of York (later King George VI) and carries the LNER Coat of Arms together with those of the towns of Stockton and Darlington. It reads “Here in 1825 the S&DR booked the first passenger, thus marking an epoch in the history of mankind”. As we now know, this isn’t quite correct, but it’s still a hugely important artefact and deserves better than it’s current condition and status. The estimated cost of repair is in the order of £2,000 but the plaque was not insured by the Bridge House charity and at present funding is still required to repair and re-instate the plaque although a more suitable and safer home such as Preston Hall Museum may be considered.
Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.
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The Brusselton Incline Walk: A Walk to celebrate the 192nd Anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway on Wednesday 27th September meeting at 10.30am in the car park opposite the Whistle Stop Cafe in Redworth Road, Shildon. The walk will start at 11am. Further details can be obtained from Jane Hackworth-Young on 01833 627712 or email. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Durham Music Service Evening Concert: Featuring Durham County Youth Big Band, Locomotive Rhythm and Durham Alumni Big Band on Wednesday 27th September at the NRM Locomotion, Shildon at 6.30pm. Free entry – all welcome.